When Full Tilt Poker reached a deal with a French investor, players rejoiced at the hope of finally being able to receive the money they had been waiting for. However, for American players, things could prove to be more complicated than they are for Canadians.
Maybe American players who are expecting substantial amounts of money to be repaid to them must submit a request to the U.S. Department of Justice, a government organization. By making themselves known to the government and in the process showcasing their participating in an industry the organization has clearly labeled as illegal, many worry that there will be consequences for coming forward and claiming repayment.
Canadian online poker players who are waiting for repayment from Full Tilt – about $10-15 million is the estimated amount still owed to players in Canada – have been told that all transactions will be handled by the French investor, not the American government. And even so, tax laws in Canada differ significantly from those in the U.S., and it is clear that amateur Canadian poker players need not pay taxes on their winnings. In the U.S., however, this is not the case, which is part of the complications American players are facing when they ask to be repaid.
In short, the choice many American online poker players need to make is whether claiming their cash is worth possibly painting themselves in a negative light as far as the government is concerned – including the IRS. As much as players desire to get their bankrolls back, it could come with too heavy a price.